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Finding Solace in Fiction

Have you ever caught yourself so consumed in a book or movie, that you forgot everything else around you? The world faded away along with distractions, being replaced by the character’s world, and worries and trials vanished, and maybe you laughed or yelled at the character for something they did…and you probably felt happy. After closing the book or coming to the end credits, life returned to its mundane self or you felt refreshed and ready to get back to it. This can be a way of coping with grief. It’s healthy to deal with your emotions and pain directly but in times when grieving becomes heavy, you may want a distraction. That’s why you can find solace in fiction.


“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.”

Albus DumbledoreHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling


Really, fiction?

Okay, hear us out: we know you might not be a big reader, but reading can be beneficial in more ways than one. It is healthy for your brain, improving your vocabulary and writing skills (even if all you write are letters and notes). Plus, you can always listen to an audiobook or watch a movie if you prefer.


Finding comfort in grief comes in different forms. One of those can be fiction whether books or movies, characters, and stories tend to unite us as they allow us to be understood in a new light. Humans are storytellers by nature. It’s how we connect because we are emotional beings. Sometimes we can learn from each other through fiction and see new perspectives or lives of individuals we may have never known otherwise.


“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling


Read or watch what you love

You don’t have to read a book about grief and loss to find solace in fiction. Everyone has different tastes, and some prefer movies over books. Also, some people have read or watched movies in times of trial. Escapism is a wonderful thing in moderation. It is how one can escape to another world, a fictional realm, and let their imagination take place. Through all the dreariness of the mundane world, especially in the current time we live in which is full of fear, war, loss, and dangers, fiction is a perfect way to forget. Whether you love a good action film or prefer a dramatic romance, enjoy it. Get lost in the character’s head, laugh with them, cry with them, even scold them. Isn’t that the wonderful thing about stories? You can travel to where they are and be “in the fight” with them.


“The ones who love us never really leave us, you can always find them in here.”

Sirius Black gesturing to Harry’s heart in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling


Recommendations for finding solace in fiction

If you would like a recommendation, Of Three Hearts by Nate Musser is a new grief and coming-of-age novel about a high-schooler named Alvin. This is a great grief story for teen readers, especially for teens who haven’t ever experienced grief, and who may struggle with confidence. While finishing and writing this story, Musser experienced grief and loss first-hand. He and others like yourself understand the pain that comes with grief. While the pain may never dissipate, there are still ways to find comfort.


Other recommendations for books or movies include; The ShackAn Interview with God (film), Harry Potter, and Star Wars. This coming Saturday at the time this blog was written is May 4th. With that, we say, “May the 4th be with you!” on Star Wars Day. Consider enjoying one of those movies if you’re a fan this weekend, and let yourself laugh at Han’s sassiness or enjoy the music of John Williams.


Bakken-Young offers a variety of grief resources for support.  Please go to our website: Bakken-Young grief support for more information.

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